In a shocking and deadly domestic incident in Washington state, a 52-year-old mother murdered her teenage daughter who was on the phone with 911 pleading for help, the prosecutor alleges in court documents.
In an email to Heavy, the King County Prosecutor’s office provided the statement of probable cause to charge Svetlana Laurel with first-degree murder. The affidavit provides the details of what happened on the night of Tuesday, Dec. 17 in Renton, Washington on a residential street decorated for the holidays: filicide, an attempted murder, and the imprisonment of her son, 12, a witness to the killing of his sister and the near-killing of his father.
Laurel is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and three counts of unlawful imprisonment. She is being held in a Seattle jail without bail. She’s due in court Friday.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Laurel Told Her Son She Had a Christmas Gift for Him & Then Tied Him up, Gagged Him & Threatened to Tase Him if he Didn’t Stay Quiet as She Lay in Wait, Police Say
According to the prosecutor’s statement, Laurel came to her ex-husband’s house where both her children lived; her daughter Natalie Genevieve Gulizia, 14, and her 12-year-old son, not named. The boy let his mother in the house. His father and sister were at a charity event and he was home alone doing homework. The boy told police his mother had only been to the house once before, around eight months ago. She and Michael Gulizia, married in 2001 and separated in 2015, were still fighting over property in a contentious divorce.
Laurel asked her son to show her around the house and gave him clothing she said was a Christmas gift. The boy said the gift was nothing more than his old clothes. “She had lost her job and this was all she could afford.” The report states that Laurel “walked him upstairs to his bedroom and then zip-tied his legs together and his hands behind his back and stuffed a sock into his mouth and taped it into place.” Laurel showed her terrified son a Taser and threatened to use it on him if he made any noise. The report states Laurel “started ranting about how their father had ruined her life …”
It’s not clear how long she had her son tied up and held him at Taser-point before Michael Gulizia and their daughter came home.
2. Laurel Tased & Tied up Her Former Husband & Then Went for Her Daughter, Threatened to ‘Blow Her Head Off’ & Then, a Single Gunshot Was Heard With a 911 Operator Listening, Prosecutors Say
When the father and daughter returned at around 8 p.m., they found a side door that was usually unlocked, locked. They went inside and the father was tased by Laurel and then tied up with zip-ties.
The boy heard his sister run into her bedroom frantically calling 911. It was 8:13. Natalie Gulizia, a John F. Kennedy Catholic High School student, told the 911 dispatcher that her mother had a Taser and had tied up her father and brother. As Laurel was raging downstairs, with Natalie still on with 911, she then said her “father just screamed that the mother had a gun.” Within a minute or two, the girl told 911 “her mother was upstairs now (and) she pocketed her phone with the line still open.” The dispatcher heard Laurel “yelling in the background asking where the phone was …and could hear her saying “you called 911!” and then saying something about “blow your head off” and this was followed by what sounded over the open line like zip ties being secured and then a loud sound similar to a door slamming this was followed by screaming about someone being dead.”
Laurel ran back downstairs and the boy “hopped” into his sister’s room and “saw she was covered in blood.”
Natalie’s school community is mourning her.
“This morning our Lancer community came together in solidarity to pray the Rosary for our friend and classmate, Natalie Gulizia.
The gift of community can be witnessed every day in our Lancer family – as we are called to go beyond ourselves to act as Christ for others, serving with love and mercy. Today, especially, is a poignant reminder of our power to use faith as an instrument of support and compassion.
Let our thoughts, words, actions and deeds be directed to our dear Natalie and to her family and friends, with sweetness, patience, humility and charity; that the spirit of peace be within our reach as we enter our Christmas break.
May the love of Christ enfold you.”
3. Authorities Said Laurel Then Tried to Shoot Her Husband But the Gun Jammed
After allegedly shooting and killing her daughter, the report says, Laurel went back downstairs and attempted to shoot her former husband but the gun jammed, according to the report. In that instant, when she was trying to get the gun to work, Gulizia, still hog-tied, was able to “ram her into a wall” with his shoulder, seize the gun and hold her there until police arrived a shortly after.
According to the report, Gulizia “hopped to the door” and gave cops the gun. The boy also managed to hop down the stairs and make his way to the police.
Read the full probable cause affidavit here:
4. Laurel & Gulizia Were in the Middle of a Nasty Divorce Where They Argued Over Property. He Was Awarded Custody of the Children. The Couple Had Met While Working in the Aerospace Industry in Texas
Washington State Supreme Court records show Laurel was challenging aspects from the couple’s 2017 divorce decree but not about where the kids would live – the court had agreed the kids would live with her initially – but rather over property and in specific, the proceeds raised from the sale of property and who would get what. Later, a court would find her unfit to have the children with her.
The couple met in Houston, Texas while both working for Boeing, the corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rockets, satellites, and missiles globally. Gulizia is an aerospace engineering and Laurel is a computer scientist. They began dating in 1998, court records show and married on New Year’s Eve 2001. In 2004, after the birth of their daughter, they moved to California and a few years later, relocated again with Boeing, this time in Washington State.
They separated in 2015.
5. Russian-born Svetlana Lavrinenko Earned a Bachelors, Masters & Ph.D. in Mathematics & Computer Science From Russia’s Oldest University, Saint Petersburg State University
According to her LinkedIn, Svetlana Laurel is a “Systems Engineering Manager/Technical Project Manager/Senior Systems Engineer – Highly Skilled and Creative.”
Her profile indicates she stopped working for Boeing a year ago, in December of 2017. She started working for the company in 1996 in highly-skilled roles.
Laurel earned three degrees from Saint Petersburg State University in Russia according to her profile. She also earned an MBA while living and working in Houston Texas, from the University of Houston.
This is a developing story.